Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Carroll v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

May 8, 2019

JOHN THOMAS CARROLL, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RODNEY W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's decision denying his application for supplemental security income pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1381 et seq. Because the Commissioner's final decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, I will affirm the decision of the Commissioner.

         Procedural History

         Plaintiff alleges he became disabled as of March 15, 2015, because of bipolar depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit disorder.

         Plaintiff's application was initially denied on November 23, 2015. After a hearing before an ALJ on October 4, 2017, the ALJ issued a decision denying benefits on January 10, 2018. On June 26, 2018, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for review. The ALJ's decision is thus the final decision of the Commissioner. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).

         In this action for judicial review, plaintiff asks that I reverse the Commissioner's final decision and remand the matter for further evaluation. For the reasons that follow, I will affirm the Commissioner's decision.

         Medical Records and Other Evidence Before the ALJ

         With respect to the medical records and other evidence of record, I adopt plaintiff's recitation of facts set forth in his Statement of Material Facts (ECF #11-1) to the extent admitted by the Commissioner (ECF #16-1). I also adopt the additional facts set forth in the Commissioner's Statement of Additional Material Facts (ECF #16-2), as they are admitted by plaintiff . (ECF # 17-1). The uncontroverted statements adopted by the Court provide a fair and accurate description of the relevant record. Additional specific facts will be discussed as needed to address the parties' arguments.

         Discussion

         A. Legal Standard

         To be eligible for supplemental security income benefits under the Social Security Act, plaintiff must prove that he is disabled. Pearsall v. Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211, 1217 (8th Cir. 2001); Baker v. Secretary of Health & Human Servs., 955 F.2d 552, 555 (8th Cir. 1992). The Social Security Act defines disability as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). An individual will be declared disabled “only if [his] physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that [he] is not only unable to do [his] previous work but cannot, considering [his] age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(2)(A).

         To determine whether a claimant is disabled, the Commissioner engages in a five-step evaluation process. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.1520; Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S. 137, 140-42 (1987). The Commissioner begins by deciding whether the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful activity. If the claimant is working, disability benefits are denied. Next, the Commissioner decides whether the claimant has a “severe” impairment or combination of impairments, meaning that which significantly limits his ability to do basic work activities. If the claimant's impairment(s) is not severe, then he is not disabled. The Commissioner then determines whether claimant's impairment(s) meets or equals one of the impairments listed in 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. If claimant's impairment(s) is equivalent to one of the listed impairments, he is conclusively disabled. At the fourth step, the Commissioner establishes whether the claimant can perform his past relevant work. If so, the claimant is not disabled. Finally, the Commissioner evaluates various factors to determine whether the claimant is capable of performing any other work in the economy. If not, the claimant is declared disabled and becomes entitled to disability benefits.

         I must affirm the Commissioner's decision if it is supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g); Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389, 401 (1971); Estes v. Barnhart, 275 F.3d 722, 724 (8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is less than a preponderance but enough that a reasonable person would find it adequate to support the conclusion. Johnson v. Apfel, 240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). Determining whether there is substantial evidence requires scrutinizing analysis. Coleman v. Astrue, 498 F.3d 767, 770 (8th Cir. 2007).

         I must consider evidence that supports the Commissioner's decision as well as any evidence that fairly detracts from the decision. McNamara v. Astrue, 590 F.3d 607, 610 (8th Cir. 2010). If, after reviewing the entire record, it is possible to draw two inconsistent positions and the Commissioner has adopted one of those positions, I must affirm the Commissioner's decision. Anderson v. Astrue, 696 F.3d 790, 793 (8th Cir. 2012). I may not reverse the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.